Disgruntled Bo-Kaap residents have taken to social media to air their plight as criminality continues to perpetuate in the infamous ‘Kraal’ and the heritage Prayer Quarry. Bo-Kaap Neighborhood Watch Chairperson, Ebrahim Christians said their continuous calls to the City of Cape Town have fallen on deaf ears.
“It’s not that we have a lot of crime but we need to nip it in the bud before it is exacerbated and turns into something that cannot be stopped. It’s like an annoying flea that keeps gnawing,” smiled Christians.
Christians explained the situation around the kraal.
“A couple of years back we had legal Bo-Kaap residents staying in the Kraal but they have since been relocated to Pelican Park and since then we have had influx of opportunists who are using the Kraal and Quarry for illegal doings,” stated Christians.
According to residents, The Kraal is a perfect place for selling and using drugs since it is hidden away and often overlooked as well as being located near to the Central Business District. Criminals from surrounding areas will use the Kraal as an escape route since it is such an inconspicuous community and offers easy access to major roads.
“There are people coming out of prison and moving straight into the Quarry, prostitutes, drug dealers, drug users, illegal foreign nationals,” added Christians.
Christians explained they have been held ransom by occupants of the Kraal.
“All we need is the council to enforce the law because there is a big sign that says ‘trespassers will be prosecuted’ but we have yet to witness that for ourselves. I have called on the ward councillor, the community policing forum but to no avail,” sighed Christians.
A resident of Chiappini street said some residents of Kraal will pickpocket tourists, as they are an easy target and often carry valuables with them such as iPhones or cameras.
“I feel sorry for myself but I also feel for these tourists, it’s such a deterrent for them,” said an anonymous resident.
The criminals in and around Kraal become role models for the children. They begin to develop the same habits as the criminals since they are offered few or no positive role models or constructive after-school activities.
Former Bo-Kaap resident, Shafwaan Loubsher said the kraal can be used to the resident’s advantage rather than them being held ransom.
“There are sustainable ways in which we can use that ground. We can set up food gardens or even turn it into a workshop for young aspiring artisans that can benefit the community,” suggested Loubsher.
Plans to upgrade the site into a no-alcohol hotel have been proposed and applied to the city council. However, some residents are opposing the idea stating it adds to the gentrification of the rich-in-heritage area.
“Rather give people proper homes before some billionaire foreigner comes and claims the land for himself,” said an angry resident.
Questions to the City of Cape Town about the state and future of the Kraal went unanswered at the time of publishing.